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Menopause and Urinary Incontinence: How Do They Relate?

Woman sitting in bed with dog and coffee and computer

Did you know that a weak bladder is one of the symptoms of menopause? Find out the connection between menopause and bladder control problems like urinary incontinence. More importantly, learn what you can do now to reduce your risk of experiencing these symptoms and how to stay protected if you experience bladder leaks.

Are you going through “The Change?” Menopause can mean a whole new world! Hot flashes, new weight in new places, mood swings and more. It’s a lot to take in! One big difference you may be experiencing is a sensitive or overactive bladder. You’re not alone! Urinary incontinence is a really common issue for women going through menopause.

Types of Menopausal Incontinence

Stress incontinence is the result of a weakened pelvic floor – the system of muscles, ligaments, and tissue that support your bladder and uterus. Once weakened, pressure – or stress – put on the pelvic floor by everyday activities like laughing, sneezing, coughing or exercising leads to a little bladder leak. As women, we may go through lots of experiences during life that impact our bladder muscles, such as pregnancy, childbirth, hormonal changes or gaining weight.

Urge incontinence is a result of muscle or nerve damage in the bladder tissue caused by past pelvic surgery, such as a C-section, or a neurological disease, such as multiple sclerosis or Parkinson’s. As a result, the bladder muscles involuntarily spasm, creating frequent intense and sudden urges to urinate that send you running to the bathroom.

Whether you have stress incontinence or urge incontinence, it's important to know that there are ways to manage and treat incontinence. What you don’t want to do is ignore the problem, as it rarely goes away on its own and may even get worse over time.

Symptoms of Menopausal Incontinence

Are you experiencing these common signs of a menopausal sensitive bladder?

  • Leakage of urine when you cough, sneeze or exercise
  • Leakage of urine on the way to the restroom
  • Waking up more than twice at night to urinate
  • Frequent urinary tract infections (UTIs)

Common Causes of a Menopausal Sensitive Bladder

Here are some of the reasons why you may be experiencing urinary incontinence during menopause:

  • Weak pelvic floor muscles. During menopause, your pelvic floor muscles tend to weaken naturally. Weaker muscles can mean less bladder control and more frequent urination in women.
  • Prolapse. A prolapse is a sagging down of organs against the pelvic floor. Some women who have prolapse describe feeling a lump in the vagina where an organ is sagging down. That organ may be the uterus, bladder or bowel. A prolapse strains your pelvic floor.
  • Less bladder elasticity. The base of your bladder can lose elasticity over time and have trouble stretching to accommodate your bladder as it fills. As a result, your bladder is irritated as it fills, causing an “overactive bladder” sensation that makes you feel like you have to go more frequently.
  • Estrogen depletion. With the onset of menopause, estrogen is no longer produced by your body. When this happens, your body is more susceptible to incontinence because there isn’t enough estrogen to help keep the tissues around your bladder strong as they were pre-menopause and working well.
  • Weight gain. With all the changes happening in your body during meonapuse, it’s not uncommon for women to gain weight. Since your pelvic floor muscles support much of your body weight, any excess weight further strains these muscles, so they may not be able to support your bladder as they should.

Remedies & Treatment Options

Use these common treatment options to protect yourself against the symptoms of urinary incontinence during menopause:


A great first step is strengthening your pelvic floor muscles with kegel exercises. Strengthening your pelvic floor will help you increase control over little urine leaks. Try your best to stay around your normal healthy weight. Excess pounds put pressure on your pelvic floor and can cause your bladder to leak when you laugh, sneeze or cough.


Be sure to stay hydrated. Not only will this help guard against urinary tract infections, but it will keep your urine from becoming too concentrated and acidic.


Other urinary incontinence remedies include adopting a bladder-friendly diet by avoiding foods like caffeine, alcohol, chocolate, citrus and carbonated beverages, as they make your urine more acidic, which can further aggravate an already sensitive-bladder.

Make a schedule

Visiting the toilet on a fixed schedule can bring some predictability as well as ease your urge to urinate. Start out going to the bathroom every two hours, whether or not you feel the urge to go and adapt from there.

Talk to your doctor

Will trying these management methods work? That depends on the cause of your incontinence. That’s why it’s so important to start talking to your doctor early. He or she can help with a diagnosis and additional treatment options if you need them, such as bladder training or surgeries to treat prolapse and other underlying conditions that contribute to your sensitive bladder.

Products to Protect Against Menopause Incontinence

To feel confident and fresh even as bladder leaks happen, try one of these recommended incontinence products. They offer amazing move–all–you–want sensitive bladder protection.

  • Always Discreet incontinence liners and pads - Thin and flexible protection, designed for light to moderate absorbance.
  • Always Discreet underwear - Feminine, discreet urinary incontinence underwear have double LeakGuards™ to help stop leaks where they happen most – at the legs. Incontinence underwear are also a great way to protect against bad leaks at night and may help when you don't have a bed pad.

Whatever course you take, remember one thing: many women face bladder control issues at this stage in life. But with the right treatment plan and leakage protection, you don’t have to let it get in the way of life, love and a great time!